I’m waiting for a ferry, sitting in my right hand drive car in a queue. My life as a resident of France is over.

I’ve sold the house, my French car (and Starfish’s French car) and gone through the misery of deciding what boxes things were to go in and marking them for shipping to Starfish – once I find out exactly where she is. Until then, they will sit in a store awaiting instructions.

I loved (still love) the house, but I loved (still love) Starfish more. We had bought the semi-derelict farmhouse together, designed the interior and the gardens and we did a lot of the work ourselves. It was a mutual project and it was very much our home, with a cute accent on “our.”

After Starfish left, we were on good terms, talking often, even spending weekends together, as close friends not as a couple, even after she started a new relationship.

When Starfish decided to move in with her new man, I was happy for her. I know that many of my readers will find that difficult to believe but those who have been with me a long time will understand. I was a little surprised when she told me she was thinking of marrying the guy (we had always called each other husband and wife but had never formalised the position). But it was fine: so long as she is happy, safe and well, I am satisfied.

But as soon as she landed, after a single message saying she had arrived in his city, she has made no contact and not replied to a message I sent. With no contact in more than three months, with no data as to whether she is, actually, happy safe and well, it’s time I made decisions.

The first decision was the house. I had spent months alone in the house, keeping it nice, not moving things around because it was how we made it. To move furniture seemed, somehow, treacherous.

Yet as summer arrived, I realised that the long days that were so prominent in my memory would never be the same.

I could, of course, just wait it out, until the house, garden, village and smells were not such open sores. But why? The house was ours, and I didn’t like it being mine. I have fed the ducks for the last time and asked a neighbour to lock the hut at night to protect them from the foxes. The new owners are due to arrive over the weekend. I haven’t met them: I hope they are very happy in the house that was once a home and, with luck, will be so once again.

So, with a few things packed in the back of the car and everything else in a van somewhere nearby, it’s goodbye to France.

I have the flat in Hong Kong and the house in the Pennines, both of which long pre-date Starfish, and my things will go there for now. I’ll supervise their arrival. But they will stay in their boxes.

In a couple of days, I’ll get a taxi to the station and get a train to London. Then I’ll stand at Kings Cross and decide, left or right, stay or go, plane or train. With me, my laptop and data stick with two unfinished books on it and enough clothes for a couple of days, I’ll walk into the rest of my life.

Goodbye Starfish.

U2. For ever and a day.No matter what.

And so long France. You were good to me.

© 2016 Jefferson Galt

words by JG - The Blog